It’s good to talk
In our increasingly digital society, face-to-face interaction is becoming less and less common, making communication feel more difficult.
An easy way to get some quality time together as a family is to get everyone together at dinner time, the perfect opportunity to share details of the day’s events – the good and the bad! Research has shown that dining as a family improves relationships, both inside and outside the family, and even promotes better academic performance.
Dining together also strengthens family roots because often this is the time that stories from the past are shared, passing information on from generation to generation and celebrating family quirks such as silly words and traditions.
However, to help the conversation flow you might need to lay down a few ground rules! Turn off the TV and keep phones and tablets away from the table. It’s also a good idea to have a few questions up your sleeve: What did you learn today at school? What did you do to help someone today? Or why not take the lead from the tradition of Thanksgiving and ask everyone around the table to share something that they are grateful for?
It’s also fun for parents to talk to the kids about the things that are different today compared to when they were children, to help educate them and teach them to appreciate the privileges they have today. The kids will find it hard to imagine a world without computers and mobile phones!
And finally, get the whole family involved in cooking, cleaning up and setting and clearing the table as these are all opportunities to talk, laugh and share precious family moments.